By Robbie Medwed
Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to take stock of our blessings, enjoy time with friends and family, and be grateful for all we have. Most people put the emphasis on the turkey, the potatoes or the company they keep, but here are a few great cocktails worthy of your attention and space on your table.
With just three ingredients, this classic cocktail is fancy enough to impress serious drinkers and easy enough for folks with no cocktail knowledge to make. It’s perfect for a crowd and can be made in advance. If you’re not a fan of whiskey, you can use gin instead, and it’s called the Bee’s Knees. If you substitute rum, it’s a Honey Bee.
2 ounces whiskey
¾ ounce honey syrup*
¾ ounce lemon juice
Place all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Serve in a rocks glass with ice or in a coupe or other stemmed glass without. Garnish with a lemon wheel, wedge or peel. If making a large batch, pour all the ingredients into a large pitcher with a small handful of ice, mix well, and store in the fridge until serving.
* Honey syrup: Heat equal parts honey and water in a saucepan until fully blended. Cool and store in the fridge; it will keep for about 3 weeks.
The daiquiri was invented in Cuba and reached the heights of popularity in the ’60s. The original version is incredibly simple and in no way resembles the syrup-sweet frozen mess you’ll find on a cruise ship or on Bourbon Street. This update incorporates a few fall flavors for a complete mix highlighting the best of the season.
1½ ounces dark rum (not spiced rum)
½ ounce smoky scotch
1 ounce lime juice
½ ounce maple syrup
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain and pour into a coupe or other stemmed glass and garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.
The Moscow Mule is a story of American innovation, even with the Russian name. In 1939 an American businessman bought the rights to distribute Smirnoff in the United States. The problem, though, was that Americans hated the flavor of vodka. Legend has it that Americans used to say “vodka” was the Russian word for “horrible.”
At the same time, another businessman had a massive stock of copper mugs he couldn’t sell. The two teamed up at Los Angeles’ Cock ’n’ Bull bar to create a cocktail that would be served in the copper mugs, and the Moscow Mule was born.
2 ounces vodka
½ ounce lime juice
Ginger beer to top
Fill a short (rocks) glass with ice and add the vodka and lime juice. (You can use a copper mug to be authentic, but you certainly don’t have to.) Fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer (not ginger ale) and garnish with a lime wedge.
Robbie Medwed writes at koshercocktail.com.